Saturday, May 30, 2015

One year to go

As I write this a bunch of friends are out riding the road to Hawi, doing the Ironman 70.3 I plan to do next year. In Honolulu dawn came clear and hot. I did my morning run at the track and finished drenched in sweat. Assuming the same conditions on Hawaii the good news is no winds to worry about on the bike. The bad news, the heat. Not only does it dry you out, it sucks the energy out of you no matter how much you drink. They say that on the run, where the course goes out into a lava field, the soles of the running shoes start to melt.

The first thought that pops into my mind when I consider all this is that I will never be ready by next year. The bike, fine. The run, sort of. The swim at Hapuna Beach is beautiful, but getting it done under race conditions seems impossible. I have never been that far from shore, and my pace is so slow I will barely make the cutoff time.

Then I think about my friends who have done this event, including the folks still out on the course today. I am quite sure every one of them has had the same feelings, if not about the swim then one of the other legs. It is natural, an instinctive survival response.

Again, the two big stoppers for me, today, are swimming so far from shore and my swim pace. The solution to the first one is easy. Find a friend willing to take me out into the ocean, say along the Waikiki Rough Water Swim course. Get one of these cool floatation things to assuage the fear of something going wrong. The point is, this obstacle can be overcome, and rather easily. As for pace, all I have to do is look back at last year and see how much better I am at swimming now, and expect improvement in the coming year. Maybe the rate of improvement will decline, but there is much that could be done to smooth me out and make me more streamlined and efficient.

More than anything I need to remind myself of the courage and determination demonstrated by the women of Try Fitness, as well as all my triathlon friends. If they can take on the challenge, so can I.

It sounds crazy, but I know it is true.

I can't wait to hear all the race stories.

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